We have the ability as a community to add custom off-topic close reasons.

We actually have one existing one, but it hasn't been used in ages (at least as far as I've seen). This is its wording:

This question may invite speculative answers, as the question is not fully defined. The validity of some answers may be based upon opinion. Good questions for this site have a limited number of objectively correct answers.

In reflection, this close reason may not have been as clear or useful as it once seemed. "Too broad" seems to have covered many of the cases where we might otherwise want to use this.

Is there a use-case for this close reason as-is that I'm not seeing, should we just dump it entirely, or should it be changed to be more clear?


1 Answer 1


I think this close reason is useful, and I've used it a bunch of times on puzzles-but-not-really where many people post different solutions and the asker says "nope, not what I was thinking" or "the answer is more clever than that".

I believe it can be worded more clearly though to address challenge questions, but still remain general. Here's what I propose.

This question makes it hard to judge for oneself whether an answer is the intended solution. It may be a matter of opinion. Good challenge questions make it apparent whether a proposed solution is correct or not.

  • $\begingroup$ How does this differ from "primarily opinion based"? $\endgroup$
    – Doorknob
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 2:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Doorknob The idea is basically the same, but the wording on "primarily opinion based" doesn't make sense for puzzle challenges: "Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise." Maybe we could agree it means what we want, but new users might be confused. Or, can we change its text? $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 9:40
  • $\begingroup$ @xnor Unfortunately, we can't tweak the text of POB. Also, I might suggest "is the intended solution" to replace "is valid"? $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Emrakul I like "the intended solution", edited it in. $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 2:05
  • $\begingroup$ I might suggest "objectively" rather than "for oneself", to fend off possible complaints by askers of "but of course I can judge it, I know the answer!" $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 7:14
  • $\begingroup$ @EsotericScreenName I was hoping "for oneself" would mean that anyone can judge the answer, not just the question asker. My concern with "objectively" is that it implies a rigorous standard, but there are decent questions where you just know the answer is right when you see it. Any other ideas for wording it? $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 4:31

You must log in to answer this question.